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Fredro Starr Recalls Jam Master Jay’s Shock At His Pre-Rap Income Leave a comment


Fredro Starr has recalled Jam Master Jay‘s shock at the amount of money he was making before rap fame.

In an interview with BagFuel, the Onyx legend reflected on his lucrative hustle as a barber in Queens, New York and said his income was so great that the Run-DMC DJ, who mentored the group early in their career, assumed he was in the drug trade.

“When Jay met me, you know what he asked me? ‘You sell drugs?!’” he remembered. “You know why? Because I was getting money. You know how I was getting money? I was cutting hair.”

Fredro explained that he maintained a “first one in, last one out” mentality at the barbershop and became so renowned for his craft that he counted famous rappers and local hustlers as loyal customers.

“[I was the] illest barber in New York, for real. I was cutting Rakim‘s hair, [Kool] G Rap‘s hair. Everybody was coming through the barbershop. All the drug dealers in ’86, ’87,” he said. “I had a line of n-ggas. ‘Who you waiting for?’ ‘Dro.’ ‘Who you waiting for?’ ‘Dro.’ I had [to tell] n-ggas, ‘Yo, you come back at 4.30. You come back at 5.30.’

“All these n-ggas pulling up in Benzes. All my clientele was drug dealers. So when I met Jay, he was like, ‘You selling drugs?!’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Nah, I don’t believe you.’ I said, ‘Bro, I cut hair!’ I had to figure out a way to get money and stay fly.”

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In a 2023 interview with Rock The Bells, Fredro Starr expanded on his relationship with Jam Master Jay, who signed Onyx to his label JMJ Records in the early ’90s.

“Jay was the architect of Hip Hop,” he said. “He was the godfather of Run-DMC, and definitely the godfather of Onyx. The things he did for our career — because Run-DMC at the time, these guys are Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. So to be down with these guys and in the presence of these guys on our first album 30 years ago, it was just crazy.”

Though Fredro was getting money long before he became a full-time rapper, he recently revealed that he once lost out on a seven-figure payday thanks to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

Speaking to The Art of Dialogue, the Onyx rapper detailed the wild circumstances that allegedly led to him losing a $1 million deal while on Dre’s short-lived The Chronic Tour in 1993.

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The trek, which also featured the likes of Run-DMC and the late Bo$$, was canceled after just a handful of dates after a driver was kidnapped allegedly by members of Snoop’s entourage.

Starr explained that he was already annoyed at having to turn down a role in the Michelle Pfeiffer movie Dangerous Minds to be on the tour, and his frustration only grew when the plug was pulled on the excursion.

“Tour was over. Canceled. We had a whole tour. We were supposed to make mad money, n-gga,” he said. “I stopped doing Dangerous Minds, all that shit. Dangerous Minds blew up. If the tour went well I wouldn’t be upset about that shit, but the tour didn’t go well.”

The rap veteran then revealed that Onyx lost out on a lucrative merch deal after the tour was canceled and, worse yet, were sued by their partners.

“We had mad merch. We had just signed a merch deal for $1 million. We couldn’t sell the merch. So guess what? The merch n-ggas want their money. We got sued by the merch company,” he said.

“See, what we should have did was sue Dr. Dre and Snoop and them n-ggas because they was liable for the tour to get canceled. Somebody had to pay and it was us.”


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